Always Be Dancing

Yoga and Flamenco for Every/body & Mindful Book Reviews By Eve


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Candlewick Press Round-Up!

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Do You Believe In Unicorns by Bethanie Deeney Murguia IMG_6664

This book allows you to believe in magic. It offers just the inkling of possibility that dreams are real and who is to say they are not. It is all about perspective and this is a book by continually posing questions and then offering up silly but plausible answers, it allows young children to relish in their dreams and keep alive the possibility of them being reality. The book affirms the creativity of childhood and presses the message to keep on dreaming and believing.

 

IMG_6667Interrupting Chicken And The Elephant Of Surprise by David Ezra Stein

This book is a hoot! David Ezra Stein is a master of hysterical play on words that will have both adults and children laughing out loud. This book builds up suspense between the punch lines and uses classic fairy tales to intertwine with the creativity of childhood and the typical home scenes of this loving chicken family. I adore the bright and bold color palette and the cartoon like animals, that somehow you feel should be talking and living just like humans do. The love between father and child is evident in this silly, adorable and gleefully ridiculous story. Loved it!

Magnificent Birds by Narisa Togo IMG_6663

This is a gorgeously illustrated non-fiction book, one that would be comfortable on a coffee table as well as in the hands of a child who loves picture books and is interested in birds and nature. Each carefully crafted linoleum-cut print is accompanied by a capsule about eat specific bird, offering just enough information to peak interest. I love the soft color palette and the lines in the prints lend a sense of movement and a life-like feeling to the birds.

This is a beautiful artistic book that highlights the love of birds, nature and looking up!

IMG_6666The Day War Came by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Rebecca Cobb (Published in association with Help Refugees)

This book took my breath away. This is not a soft story-it is a hard hitting look at the struggle for refugees, not just by being torn away from their homes by war but also as a result of ostracization by the new communities they arrive in. This is not an easy book but it is a necessary one. This simple words are full of impact, the characters drawn so lovingly but when that dark charcoal ash smothers the pages, you are lead right into the horrifying reality of a child who loses everything and everyone and then has to go on the run to survive. You feel this child’s longing, the rejection they experience but you also witness the glimmer of hope, through another child’s actions that are pure and full of compassion.

I highly recommend this book. This book is a beautiful dedication tot he refugees and an eye opener that even the simplest of actions can have the deepest effect. This book in the end embraces the beautiful uniqueness of every child symbolized through the beautiful unique chairs that gives each one of them a “seat” to be included.

The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer; illustrated by Ekua Holmes IMG_6665

This book is a true work of art from the beautiful poetic prose to the amazing artwork that fills the pages. The rich, jewel-like color palette highlights the gorgeous pages of marbleized paper, ones that look like geodes and fireworks and the menagerie of animals and plant life that emerge through the story of creation. This book brings the story of creation that is both scientific and spiritual. This book is for children as well as for adults and it will open eyes to the wonder of us. Creative thought will be inspired and the wonder and beauty of the cosmos will be dreamed about!

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Jessica Kingsley Publishers for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions stated are my own.

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Stay Cool at School* by Lori Lite

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Stay Cool at School by Lori Lite*; Illustrated by Richard Watson

I love how mindfulness in schools is becoming the norm and that more and more teachers and school districts are interested in bringing mindfulness and self-help strategies into their school communities. In my opinion, the younger we can start this the better, as empowering our young children with strategies to deal with big emotions, can only be a win-win for the children themselves and the greater community at large.

Lori Lite is in the top of the tier of people offering easily accessible ways to bring mindfulness into the classroom. Her most recent book Stay Cool at School is an adorable and extremely important book for teachers of young children (ages 3-9) who want to help their students identify big emotions and offer them tools to cope. Since coping is a practice, the more this is encourages, the more likely the students will be able to access their wisdom at times of high emotions.

In the story, the two adorable dream monkeys, Jumpy & Sunny help the young child in the story to identify the big emotions experienced, from anger to over-excitement to embarrassment and joy. In each instance, they offer up various breathing strategies that anyone can do, without anyone else even noticing, to increase a sense of calm, self-control and to encourage a positive outlook. 

The illustrations are very cute and I love the fun color palette. The scenarios and emotions are well articulated and this book can be enjoyed over and over again.

I highly recommend this book to families and school communities alike. Libraries should have a section for mindfulness books specifically aimed at children. I know I am going to embrace this book and share it with the children I have the opportunity to work with through my children’s yoga program. Its fun and engaging nature make it an easy fit as a gateway into mindfulness for young children.

*A special note: Stay Cool at School is only available through Scholastic Book Clubs. Contact your child’s teacher for their order/login with the teacher’s information to their club and/or their 5 digit class code. More information here http://bit.ly/LLStayCool

For more information about Always Be Dancing: Yoga & Flamenco for Every/Body, my mindfulness/yoga/dance program, please visit: alwaysbedancing(dot)wordpress(dot)com.

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Lori Lite for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions stated are my own.


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Mindful Book reviews By Eve: A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working With Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma by Dr. Karen Treisman

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A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working With Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma by Dr. Karen Treisman

This book is fabulous. It is an eye-opening approach to engaging children who suffer from developmental trauma through art activities but can be applied to the general population of children, as I believe that any gateway you can find that allows a child to express and release is a sure fire win! The book is stuffed full of applied practices that are easily adapted to classroom work, yoga/mindfulness programming and for anyone who works with children who wants to engage them outside the box. This book is so creative and well thought out and its myriad of applied practices provide a solid foundation for understanding, assessing, and helping children cope with developmental trauma. I am a yoga and mindfulness teacher and the ease at which I can locate and adapt the tools in this book make it 100% accessible for the as well as mental health practitioners, as the book is full of the most up-to-date clinical information too. This book is a must have for everyone who works with children, not just those who are traumatized, as we can reach out with creativity and compassion to all children to help them release what is hidden inside so they can move forward and thrive. I highly recommend this book. It’s sitting right on my work table along with Dr. Treisman’s  Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Sentence Completion and Feelings (please check out my review). This is a dynamic duo of highly accessible, especially for the non-professional, creative, socio-emotional learning techniques and activities for children. They have become indispensable to me.

I’m looking forward to reviewing her latest “Therapeutic Treasure Deck of Grounding, Soothing, Coping and Regulating Cards” 

¡Olé Namaste! Eve Costarelli

Thank you to Jessica Kingsley Publishing for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

 

 


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Thank You, Me. By Elena Reznikova

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Thank You, Me. By Elena Reznikova

I was so pleased to receive this sweet book about being thankful for what you have inherent in your own body. It brings all the gratitude home and focuses on appreciating your senses and your how you experience them. It is straight forward thankfulness for you being you and all the wonders you can notice. This book is full of positive affirmations of love, respect and trust, both for yourself and for the world around. I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to sharing it with my young yoga students. It will blend perfectly into my kids yoga classes about the miracle of being you. This is a lovely book! I also loved the included thank you cards for coloring and the accompanying gratitude journal. This makes a very cute set and would make a nice gift for the yogi in your life!

A note about the illustrations: Very cute cartoon-like images of a fuzzy purple monster, a smiling red-headed child and a menagerie of wide-eyed expressive animals pus tree, stars and snails, make this book and easy and educational book to connect with yoga poses as you read along with your class.

Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: Angry Octopus: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite

Angry Octopus: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite

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This is a very well-crafted relaxation story that takes you, step-by-step, through active progressive muscular relaxation meditation.  The story pays special attention to bringing attention to feelings and sensations and it highlights important concepts such as self-reflection, body awareness and cooperation. This is a great book to read aloud to your own children as well as any children you have the opportunity to read to! It makes a great addition to a yoga class or a bedtime ritual and school teachers could use it to help their students relax. The sea creatures are adorable and I love the brightly colored palette and the blurred background lends to the feeling of being under the sea. This book pairs perfectly with Angry Octopus: Color Me Happy, Color Me Calm by Lori Lite (see my review here). Together, they pack a power punch and are great books to help children to enjoy being calm and aware.

 


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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: I Have My Baby, My Baby Has Me by Josh Mortensen

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Mindful Book Reviews By Eve: I Have My Baby, My Baby Has Me by Josh Mortensen; Art by Carol Gisler

Right off the bat, I was taken with the beautiful watercolors. The artist, Carol Gisler, pays incredible attention to the details of the natural world with her color palette, brushwork and loving touch and the over-palette of blue and green is extremely  soothing and relaxing. The written prose flow effortlessly and are very inventive. I love the choice of words and how they play with each other, creating soft, sing-song poetry as you read aloud. Your child will be enchanted by the beautiful words and the gorgeous illustrations.

Congratulations! This is a lovely book! I highly recommend it. I just included it in my latest blog post: 19 Books About Mindfulness for Kids, 2 Activity Books and a Deck of Cards, too. (http (colon slash slash) bit (dot) ly/2HXKKxB)

Thank you to Magpie Children’s Books for sending me a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

 


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19 Books About Mindfulness for Kids, 2 Activity Books and a Deck of Cards, too